We gave it our all but lack of consistency was the issue: Root
Joe Root insists his England team cannot be faulted for effort despite losing the Ashes at the earliest opportunity this winter.
England's attempted Perth rearguard amounted to 218 all out and defeat by an innings and 41 runs after Australia had racked up 662 for nine declared - their highest Ashes total on home soil - on the way to a series-sealing 3-0 scoreline.
While Root's opposite number Steve Smith was holding back tears of joy, and England coach Trevor Bayliss found himself defending his position, the Yorkshireman spoke of 'bitter disappointment' but refused to play the blame game.
His predecessor Alastair Cook and fellow Ashes veteran Stuart Broad are among those who have failed to live up to their billing. But Root emphasised the graft put in by one and all.
"It's bitterly disappointing," he said. "(But) they tried absolutely everything. It wasn't for lack of effort. We went through every plan - different fields, bowling straight, hanging it wide, every now and again a bit of bumper warfare. It felt like we didn't leave anything to chance."
Asked about the meagre contributions of old hands like Cook and Broad, Root spelled out that he and Bayliss retain faith in players with world-class records.
"It is important we don't panic or make hasty decisions," he said. "We have put up some good performances in all three matches, just not for long enough."
Smith was, by contrast, struggling to contain his elation.
"I was crying in the sheds a bit a minute ago," he said. "The boys have been magnificent. I am just so proud of everyone."